The vital role of
research in modern medicine cannot be overemphasized in view of today’s dynamics
where global information and technology have profoundly influenced human health.
The past and the present
of medicine in ancient India were the likes of Sushruta, the first plastic
surgeon in the world and Charaka, the introducer of concepts like digestion and
But, unfortunately, the comparable enthusiasm is lacking in current medical
students. The scientific research which had been an integral part of Indian
civilisation, has now taken a backseat in our medical education system. Currently,
research methodology and biostatistics is covered
under the subject of community medicine and constitutes a tiny part of the
Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (M.B.B.S.) curriculum. Even that is
only theoretical with no hands on practical training. Thus, the exposure of
undergraduate students to this field is limited. Due to the paltry treatment
meated out to researh methodology, there is lack of awareness, motivation and
interest amongs students.
there was an exponential increase in medical student research from 1980–2010 , with
medical student being the first author in 48.6%, the majority of these articles
(59.1%) have never been cited subsequently (2) . Similarly 41% of the students who received the ICMR-STS
research scholarship (3) were unable to present
or publish the work done.(4)
As we are moving
towards evidence based medicine, we can’t keep treating our people according to
the studies conducted in the West. India needs to generate its own data and
this is not possible without inculcating scientific temper and promoting
reasearch activities at the grassroot level. Undergraduate medical research is
a win-win situation as students get an opportunity to develop high order
thinking skills and hand in hand also to enhance laboratory skills(5) .
At the same time, guide faculty get more helping hands, institutes get more
publications and credit and ultimately, the aim of providing better quality
care to patients is fulfilled.